Firstly let me make this very clear. The battery can go in both ways but only one way will work! I lost an hour trying to get the camera to charge straight away and it wouldn't! And all because the supplied battery can fit in back to front... Anyway, the battery is in and it charges well so here's the review
Thanks to a couple of very hot days days and being a friend of a friend at a barbecue with some people who wonderfully had an outside pool (!), I was finally able to test the waterproof ability this weekend There are four specific water functions, one is macro based (close up) two are specific (underwater action and underwater landscape) and one is a generic pool shot. This is the one I used and it was perfect for ridiculous selfies underwater. As the day got a little bit darker then the flash really does come into it's own and works really well As it is shockproof as well, you can rest assured that dropping it in the pool and letting it sink won't do any damage at all, in fact you can set the timer, sink it onto the floor and swim down for a cool shot... The screen could be a little brighter when using underwater, even using goggles it was quite dark and when the light hits it at a certain angle it becomes completely silver and reflective making it hard at times to get a proper shot. Filming underwater works very well as well, there are perhaps too many filming functions for my liking in what is supposed to be a camera as opposed to a camcorder but then you don't have to use them all
Using the camera above water it is also shockproof and ice proof, just what I needed during a ramble down Cornwall way during a British summer. The macro function is extremely good, I was able to get some incredible close up shots of butterfly's and bees atop flowers. The panoramic function also works extremely well and while the camera will tell you to be very slow, even if you speed it up a bit the camera works extremely well and compensates accordingly providing a very good panoramic shot. And even when the obligatory drizzle happened, because it's waterproof I was completely confident in using it There is a compass function and GPS as well, I didn't use the GPS as I was concerned about battery life - see below
Now then, there are a couple of special scene functions which are slightly bonkers. There is a dog face recognition and a cat face recognition function- no seriously... When selected, the camera will automatically take a picture when it picks up either a dog or a cat depending on which one you chose. Nw the first time we used it with my neighbours dog it actually went off taking a photo of her bosom - cue lots of jokes about it recognising "puppies" Joking aside, it does sort of work but not very well. You will have a lot more success just deciding when you want to take the photo yourself rather than ending up with a blurry shot of half a dog and half a cleavage!
There are magic frames as well which give you the option of a few special effects. Nothing too surprising here, fish eye, soft focus etc. Sparkle can be fun in the right circumstances and the reflection one which mirrors the screen can take some very odd shots with a little patience and a couple of pints. The majority of these magic effects can be used when filming as well and therefore can be used when filming underwater as well which resulted in a couple of very trippy effects!
Downsides - the battery life isn't as good as I would expect. I fully charged it before going swimming and noticed we were down to two bars (out of three) relatively early on. Now, don't misunderstand, the camera was being used continually underwater and the battery didn't run out, just lost a bar earlier than I expected however I wouldn't feel confident taking it away for a weekend without the charging leads. Speaking of which, rather annoyingly the charging leads are specific to Olympus, if you are anything like me with various electronic devices this is a bit of a bug bear having to have another specific lead for one device
Overall, this camera is excellent. I'm really happy with it and it is definitely going to suit certain people with outgoing lifestyles however, even if you aren't likely to go ice climbing in the Artic this is still a brilliant waterproof camera which is going to be perfect for holidays (and the occasional hot day in Britain)
I got this based on the Olympus specs as I needed a compact camera and couldn't wait for the expert reviews to come out. I have to say I am pretty impressed! The menu are simple and easy to use (without the need to fully read to manual provided on a CD) the camera feels sturdy and well built, with the buttons actually smartly placed in my opinion I have tested the toughness to a certain extend... the camera can totally be dropped in fresh snow, spilled a drink on and be handled by kids without fear of fatal damage but best of all, it does take really nice shots, with correct exposure with the help of the scene modes, good shutter speed, not bad in low light either, sharp focus and it even records quite decent short movies I am in no way an expert, but I have a DSLR that I never take anywhere because it's too bulky and fragile, despite the wonderful pictures it can produces. This is the camera to capture the snowball fights, the muddy bike rides and the trips to the beach, and it ticks all the boxes!
Bought this for beach holiday last august and am so far very impressed with it as a complete do it all point and shoot camera. Image quality is generally good. (I've added an underwater photo to the gallery as a sample) and the fun modes are impressive too. Battery life is pretty good. A nice balance of quality and value for money. The rugged and waterproof ability of this camera is superb. It was in the sea and in the sand and is very confidence inspiring with a floaty wrist strap. Just pour water over it to clean the sand off and its good to chuck in your bag. The only thing to watch out for is dirt/sand getting in the compartment seals. If you use a soft bristle tooth brush to make sure they are clean everytime you close it back up you wont go wrong. I have a Canon s100 which takes better photos but you simply can't take that camera to places like you can the Olympus. Bottom line is....... This starts up fast, takes stills and video , Has fun/creative modes which are very useable and after all they say the best camera is the one you have with you.
I have owned a Tough 800 and 820 and use them for kayaking and occasional snorkelling. The 820 has been and still is a great camera with image stabilisation and fast focus for clear images. The 800 also has a lens shutter that stops water splashes getting on the lens for kayaking, which is great (my friends with other cameras get water drops in their photos). On the 830 Olympus have removed the protective shutter, which is a real shame as it was the biggest differentiator from competitors' cameras. I bought one of these for work use and then discovered that they have also removed the macro facility from the menu. (there is some feature for underwater macro but not daylight) This is a real step backward Olympus, very disappointing and the only reason for dropping a star. Apart from these issues the camera is a very good one.
Received this as a replacement to a leaky Pentax, it's an all round better camera. The battery and connection doors have a double lock mechanism which seem to be watertight. The Intelligent auto option works well, meaning no manual changes when going underwater and picture quality is generally good. The video is also impressive, much better than I have seen previously from a compact
Purchased for a beach holiday in Spain (after a previous regular non 'tough' compact camera suffered from water exposure), having just returned from 10 days away with some excellent family photo's, I judge this to have been an excellent purchase. It's my 1st Olympus for some years (having mainly been using Nikon and Panasonic) and while the menu's differ in layout I was soon used to them and find them easy to use.
Likes: * Image quality is good to excellent * Genuinely 'tough' build - taken in water to a depth of several feet and used on the beach with no issues. * fast access to video recording via a one touch record button on the top next to the main shutter release * some very effective 'photo' modes, that are easy to use and allow some nice (and fun) images to be created * enough manual control to allow some experimentation (though note it's NOT a professional camera with full manual or RAW support)
Not so hot: * I'd prefer (am more used to) the zoom control being next to the shutter release (but you get used to the back plate rocker alternative quickly enough) * Lens optical zoom range is limited to 5x - though this is understandable given it has to stay 'sealed' within the camera body - to be honest this is more than offset by the lack of worry about sand or other grit getting into the lens extension mechanism (which has been the main point of failure in previous cameras. * have to charge the battery 'in the camera' - using supplied (though non standard?) USB cable and wall charger.
If you're after a camera that is waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof and crushproof, then the Olympus Tough TG-830 is for you. Pefect for hiking, sailing skiing or anywhere else you would normally have to be very careful with your camera.
The camera has 16 megapixels and 5x optical zoom. Though you won't get much from the zoom the picture quality more than makes up for this. It's very intuitive in a variety of lighting situations and is a great point-n-click for those who don't use manual settings. There are a range of scene modes, panorama mode and magic filters which includes dramatic and miniature. The camera features image stabilisation to reduce blur and keep your images as sharp, which again helps with many types of photo, including tricky moving subjects.
The camera's biggest selling feature is the fact that it's waterproof (up to 10m), shockproof/smashproof (up to 2.1m). Not only that but it can be taken to extreme weathers as it's also freezeproof (up to -10°C) and can take up to a 100kg weight on it. It also has GPS to tag your images and the e-compass on the back hypercrystal screen is a nice feature too.
Videos look great in full 1080p HD (though you probably need a class 10 or above memory card for more fluid recorording). You can even shoot pictures and video at the same time.
The camera handles well with a rubber grip, it's easy to hold and not heavy. It also features an adjustable strap. The contruction is such that it feels solid. Even to get into the battery side panel invloves two locking mechanisms, for extra seal.
Overall a top camera for the price that sets itself apart from the competition with it's unique 'tough' construction. Finally a camera you can throw around without fear of it breaking.